There are only seven weeks to Christmas. For many service based businesses, trade will decrease towards the festive break. This gives business owners and managers some slack, and an opportunity to spend some time planning for business growth ahead for 2016.
Planning for business growth?
Does your business have the processes and systems in place for increased demand in 2016 and beyond? Imagine that 2016 is a better year for your business than 2015. You will be looking to receive more enquiries, a better response to marketing campaigns, and an increase in attendance at exhibitions and events.
My recommendation is, when planning for business growth, to follow your entire value stream, which is all of your business processes from start to end, typically running from enquiry to delivery. Start with a whiteboard or large sheet of paper, and map out all the sources from which enquiries originate. Then follow these to the proposal/quote generation process, and on to the sales response from a prospect. Win? What happens next? Lose? Do you capture feedback from the prospect, or do you just move onto the next enquiry? How do you review/test your product or service before presenting it to the customer? As you map out each process, think really hard about if it could be removed, improved, or automated. Could technology replace, simplify or better support the process? Could you replace paper forms with electronic forms or documents? Sometimes simple solutions are the best. I recommend being really bold and replacing the existing process and paper with an electronic system. This will give you a step-change in capability and efficiency.
Whichever approach you choose, speak with your IT suppliers. Share your thoughts and needs for 2016 when planning for business growth. Ask for a number of costed options, and work out which gives you the best combination of capability and return on investment.